Yamuna Expressway update
The 165-km Yamuna Expressway, promising a 2-hour drive to Agra from Noida, is finally free from the cumbersome land acquisition litigations that had bogged it down for the last eight years. The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed petitions challenging acquisition of 21.03 of the 1,604 hectares acquired for the expressway project saying there was no illegality in the land acquisition process adopted by the Mayawati government. A bench of Justices V S Sirpurkar and Cyriac Joseph dismissed the claim of landowners, who had challenged the acquisition on the grounds that there was no urgency in acquiring land for the project. The Allahabad high court had on November 30 last year dismissed writ petitions filed by the landowners challenging the notification under Sections 4 and 6 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 relating to the Expressway project. The petitioner had sought a direction to restrain the state from giving effect to the notifications and, further, not to dispossess the landholders after demolishing their constructions on the land which was proposed to be acquired. Out of 12,282 landowners, 11,397 had received compensation under the agreement and the challenge related only to 21.03 hectares. Justice Sirpurkar, writing the judgment, said the HC verdict did not warrant any interference from the apex court.